8. Accessibility


8. Accessibility

Many people with disabilities use assistive technology to enable them to use computers. Poorly designed courses can create unnecessary barriers for individuals who have difficulties seeing, hearing, or using a standard mouse. Accessibility goes hand-in-hand with Universal Design for Learning principles, such as providing multiple ways to learn, and a variety of assessment choices for students to demonstrate learning, and helps proactively to create more accessible learning environments.

Ensure your course design reflects a commitment to accessibility so all learners can access course content, activities and assessments. Create courses that have consistent, logical, and efficient navigation. For example, create course pages that have links, files, and icons labeled with easy-to-understand and meaningful names, and learners can easily locate where they are in the course, and can return to the home page from any location.

When you select technologies for your course, ensure that learners with disabilities have information on how they are accessible. Include links to the accessibility statements for all required technologies in your course syllabus, or at the point where the required technology is used, or in a page on accessibility resources.

Help with Accessibility

Online courses using BbLearn have integrated accessibility features, such as screen readers and test exception settings.

However, content that you add or upload into your course may not be accessible, such as:

  • videos
  • scanned documents
  • photos, diagrams, and visual images

Audio and video media require screen-readable, accurate captions or transcripts to be accessible to students with disabilities.

Our Accessibility Guidelines provide accessibility checkers, tips, tutorials, and additional resources for developing accessible web content. Download this easy-to-use Accessibility Checklist for instructions on how to build content accessibly. (courtesy of Portland Community College).

Visit our BbLearn Accessibility help page to learn how you can plan your course to be accessible. For example, we recommend using YouTube auto captioning for video lecture and multimedia. Blackboard is committed to ensuring that their platform is usable and accessible. Learn More >>

The video below describes how all students, not just those with disabilities, can benefit from captioning.

Video courtesy of University of Washington IT/Accessibility